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ISSUE 147 - December 2010
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Rotary Brantford Charity Airshow 2010

By Kevin Moore, Contributing Editor & Photographer
Roslin, Ontario, Canada

The Canadian Warplane Heritage Lancaster and B-25 Mitchell in a nice, tight formation pass.

Friendly. Welcoming. Inviting. Exciting. Four words that can easily be used to describe the Brantford Airshow, often referred to as the "Biggest little airshow in Canada."

Canadian Forces King Air, which was on static display, takes to the air, heading for home after the airshow, left. Martin Mattes with Brantford's "official" airshow photographer Kerry Newstead aboard the Yak-52 for a flightline photo shoot before the airshow, right.

Brantford, Ontario is located roughly 60 minutes west-south-west of Toronto, Ontario and is known as the home of a fairly famous hockey player, Wayne Gretzky. However, for aviation buffs, it's better known as the home of the Rotary Brantford Charity Airshow, an annual event held at the Brant County Municipal Airport (CYFD).

The Canadian Warplane Heritage Lancaster bomber in a nice level pass, left.
A CHAT Harvard in a climb during the teams aerobatic performance, right.

The event is held the first Wednesday of every September, just before the Canadian National Exhibition, Toronto International Airshow (TIAS). By having several performers from the TIAS perform in the Brantford Airshow as well, they can reduce their costs because airplanes and pilots are already scheduled for the TIAS 3 days later. It's a wonderful example of the ingenuity used by the folks at the Brantford Airshow in organizing a charity airshow, and it works.

Rob Holland taxies out in his MX-2, left. Rob Holland and Rick Volker climb away in formation before the show for a photo-op, right.

The show has a mix of old and new, prop and jet driven aircraft. There is something for everyone from Canada and the U.S. including aerobatic pilot Rob Holland in the MX-2 among several other great performers. No matter where they come from, their aerobatic displays and flightline passes are appreciated and enjoyed by all.

Canadian Forces Tutor tail painted in the livery of the Golden Centennaires on static display, left The Canadian Forces Snowbirds completing a pass in the Silver Dart configuration, right.

The night before the airshow, the public have the opportunity to purchase tickets and dine with the pilots at a fundraising dinner. Being a charity airshow there is no cost to enter, but they ask for a donation at the gate and this year the charity receiving the benefits of the 2010 airshow was the Rotary Club of Brantford. During the airshow, there is a $10 fee for parking plus lots of vendors for food, souvenirs and aviation related items.

The CWH Lysander in a level, 'high speed' pass.

At one time, the U.S. military provided support for the airshow however, they do not recognize the Rotary Club as a charitable organization but hopes are that will change in future so the show and crowds can welcome back the wonderful support they've had from the U.S. military in previous years.

The CWH Lancaster and B-25 Mitchell in a beautiful level pass.

Always making an appearance is Canadian Warplane Heritage and this year they were there with several aircraft including the B-25 Mitchell, Avro Lancaster, the Lysander, Canso, Dakota and Chipmunk. In fact, one of the best passes during the show was a pass by the Lancaster and Mitchell in a nice, tight formation.

Three Skyhawks at the end of their locked-leg formation, just as they split, left,
and just before touch-down, right.

The Canadian Forces Parachute Display Team, The Skyhawks, opened the show with a wonderful parachute display of aerobatics and precision. The Skyhawks never disappoint and make jumping out of the back of an airplane from thousands of feet above the airport look easy, if not breathtaking. Their colourful canopies and their smoke trails can be seen for miles and they never fail to impress the crowds.

The Canadian Harvard Aerobatic Team always performs
a great display with their three ship formation.

The Canadian Harvard Aerobatic Team from the Canadian Harvard Aircraft Association were there performing their stupendous aerobatics in the Harvard. The three experienced aerobatic pilots, Kent Beckham, Dave Hewitt and Pete Spence put their aircraft through a mix of loops, rolls, and heart-stopping manoeuvres in their 50+ year old airplanes.

Rick Volker's SU-26M sits on the tarmac early in the day, left.
Martin Mattes's beautiful L-29 in a nice pass, right.

Two other performers at the show included Rick Volker, a dentist from Buffalo, New York who flies his SU-26M in a superb aerobatic display and Martin Mattes magnificent L-29 Delphin with John Mrazek at the controls performing a number of passes. Along with airshow performers, there were static displays and CWH always has their aircraft parked in an area where the public can wander around the airplanes and sometimes have the opportunity to tour inside aircraft such as the Lancaster, Dakota and Canso.

The Snowbirds performing the Maple Split, left, and the downward bomburst, right.

Rounding out the airshow, as always, are the Canadian Forces Aerobatic Display Team, The Snowbirds. Performing their amazing aerobatics in a stunning blue sky, the team never fails to impress the public. Brantford airport gives the airshow crowd the opportunity to see the team take off and land, and at the end of their show, the pilots and crews gather at one end of the flightline to hand out posters and sign autographs.

The CWH Canso, left, and the B-25 Mitchell, right, in nice passes during the show.

If you haven't had the opportunity to visit the Brantford Airport and see the airshow, make the trip. Fly in or drive in for the day. Brantford is a great city with lots of places to stay and lots of places to eat. It's not just the pilots, volunteers, and organizers who make the show great, it's the spectators too.

The L-29 inverted during a roll, left. Snowbirds line-up number 1 through 11 (two 'spares'), and the Golden Centennaires Tutor at the end, right.

For more information about the Rotary Brantford Charity Airshow visit:

CWH Lancaster in a nice, top-side banana pass, left.
The CWH Mitchell landing after a few passes, right.

For more information about Canadian Warplane Heritage visit:

Rob Holland taxies out with a beaming, happy Snowbirds pilot for a flight before the airshow, left, and then along past the Snowbirds aircraft, right.

For more information about Rob Holland visit:

The big radial and nose of the SU-26M, left. Rick Volker in the cockpit of his SU-26M, right.

For more information about Rick Volker visit:

The team performing the Viggen pass, left. A future Snowbird pilot in the making, right.

For more information about The Snowbirds visit:

The CHAT team wow'ing the crowd with their performance.

For more information about CHAA visit:

At the end of the day the Snowbirds pilots rest their helmets
on the front canopy of their Tutor aircraft.


Heading home in the setting sun, the CWH Canso takes to the air bound for Mount Hope.

By Kevin Moore, Contributing Editor & Photographer

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